The Future is Bright for Yellow-eared Parrot
Yellow-eared Parrot. By: Fundacion Proaves
"The numbers of the once-thought extinct, Yellow-eared Parrot have increased to their highest levels since the species was found on the brink of extinction in 1998, when just 81 birds were found in one flock surviving in a remote mountainous area of Colombia.
A recent survey count shows that, thanks to conservation actions by the Colombian conservation group Fundación ProAves, in partnership with American Bird Conservancy (ABC), Conservation International-Colombia and Loro Parque Fundación of Spain, the bird has reached historically high population levels. The bird has just experienced the most successful breeding season on record, with 291 chicks fledged from 131 nests, bringing the global population to 1,076 individuals.
“We take great pride in being a continuing part of this amazing recovery effort. The Yellow-eared Parrot is one of many birds in South America that is in need of help. In this case, the partners have done an outstanding job with the many on-the-ground projects that are a key to this bird’s long term survival. This is the kind of partnership effort that serves as a model for the conservation of endangered birds around the world,” said Sara Lara, International Division" Director for ABC.
More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/110105.html
Safeguards needed to prevent population declines in the Whooping Crane and
Greater Sage-Grouse, and reduce mass mortality among eagles and songbirds
"Map showing migration path of the endangered Whooping Crane in relation to core wind power development areas.
(Washington, D.C. - December 29, 2010) "Today, American Bird Conservancy announced that three iconic American bird species face especially severe threats from wind energy development.
"Golden Eagles, Whooping Cranes, and Greater Sage-Grouse are likely to be among the birds most affected by poorly planned and sited wind projects,” said Kelly Fuller, Wind Program Coordinator for American Bird Conservancy, the nation’s leading bird conservation organization. “Unless the government acts now to require that the wind industry respect basic wildlife safeguards, these three species will be at ever greater risk.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) currently estimates that more than 400,000 birds are already being killed each year after being struck by the fast-moving blades of wind turbines. This figure is expected to rise significantly, and will likely eventually pass the million mark as wind power becomes increasingly ubiquitous under a Department of Energy plan to supply 20% of America's power through wind by 2030.
Golden Eagles have already been one of the major victims of the largest wind farm in the United States at Altamont Pass in California. The Altamont wind farm was sited in an area that eagles and other raptors use to hunt ground squirrels and other small mammals. Using the now-outdated towers as perches, thousands of raptors have been killed as they launch out through the spinning turbines towards their prey. While new tower designs have been developed, they don’t completely eliminate the risk. Much of the additional wind build-out planned for the western U.S. is expected to occur in areas used by Golden Eagles." More at:
Massive Six-State Habitat Restoration Project Sees Progress on 130,000 Acres in Year One
Red-headed Woodpecker. Photo: Greg Lavaty
(Washington, D.C., January 12, 2011) "Leaders of a massive, six-state, 1.1 million-acre habitat restoration initiative that will potentially benefit a host of rare birds and many species of wildlife say that the project has had an auspicious start with restoration work initiated on about 130,000 acres.
The goal of the project, which focuses on the restoration of native ecosystems such as barrens, glades, and open oak and open pine woodlands, is taking place in Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Illinois. The goal is to return the vegetation in dozens of key locations to a condition approximating its natural state in the hopes that many wildlife species that were once abundant, can again thrive. The initiative is being lead by about a dozen state and federal land-managing agencies and non-governmental organizations associated with the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture (CHJV), a public-private partnership for conservation in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region" (see http://www.chjv.org/). More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/110112.html
Rare Cerulean Warbler To Benefit from New Colombian Conservation Easements
Cerulean Warbler. By: Frode Jacobsen
(March 1, 2011) "American Bird Conservancy and Fundación ProAves, the leading bird conservation organizations in the U.S. and Colombia respectively, have secured thirteen new conservation easements in Colombia with private landowners that will protect important habitat for the Cerulean Warbler – North America's fastest declining neotropical migrant songbird.
Thanks in part to the generous continued support of the Amos W. Butler Audubon Society over three years, the new easements complete a critical first phase of consolidating the Cerulean Warbler Corridor, which protects key habitat located between two bird reserves near the Andes Mountains in central Colombia – the Pauxi Pauxi Reserve at the northern end and the Cerulean Warbler Reserve at the southern end .
“The Cerulean Warbler is North America’s fastest declining neotropical migrant songbird. Saving this bird is going to require a concerted and continuous effort in both North and South America,” said Benjamin Skolnik, who manages ABC’s Colombian projects." More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/stories/110301.html
"The Iquitos Gnatcatcher is a lively little bird with a distinctive habit of continuously flicking its wings and tail as its forages through the tree canopy in search of invertebrates.
This bird was first described in 2005, and is unique to the white-sand forest of Peru’s Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve. It is listed as Critically Endangered under IUCN-World Conservation Union criteria due to its restricted range (less than eight square miles), tiny population, and the threat deforestation poses to its remaining habitat.
With help from ABC, ConocoPhillips, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, ProNaturaleza, a leading Peruvian conservation organization, has purchased over 1,200 acres of private land within the Allpahuayo-Mishana boundaries for donation to the reserve, helping further conserve this highly threatened bird."
To help ABC's efforts to save the Iquitos Gnatcatcher, click here.
"The Marvelous Spatuletail is arguably one of the most spectacular hummingbirds in the world. Adult males have two highly modified tail feathers which they use in elaborate courtship displays to attract females.
This hummingbird, an AZE-listed species, is restricted to the Rio Utcubamba valley of northern Peru, where it is threatened by deforestation. ABC and Peruvian partner ECOAN helped establish the Huembo conservation easement on 77 acres of land in this area. Visitors to Huembo can now see Marvelous Spatuletails at feeders and witness the entrancing courtship displays. Researchers have already documented spatuletail nesting behavior at Huembo.
ABC and ECOAN’s work to save the Marvelous Spatuletail has been supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Virginia Ornithological Society, Bill Akers, Jeff and Connie Woodman, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others."
Watch a video of spateuletail's remarkable courtship display
Death of Second Oldest Alaskan Bald Eagle.
Washington, D.C., February 24, 2011)
"The electrocution death from a power line on Kodiak Island, Alaska of the second oldest known Bald Eagle in the entire state – and perhaps one of the ten oldest ever recorded – highlights the threat large birds face from power lines, an issue of particular concern as the nation looks to increase wind energy generation, says American Bird Conservancy, the nation’s leading bird conservation organization.
“The threat to birds from power lines comes in two forms: electrocution when a large bird comes into contact with two lines or a line and a pole simultaneously, and collisions with the hard-to-see lines. We are very concerned that with the rapid expansion in wind power, numbers of both causes of mortality will rise. To meet the 2030 goal, the nation will need to produce about 12 times more wind energy than in 2009, which will dramatically increase the threat to birds such as the Bald Eagle unless appropriate mitigation takes place,” said George Fenwick, ABC’s President.
A band retrieved from the dead eagle confirmed that it was the second oldest on record in Alaska. The oldest found in the Unites States was a 32-year-old Bald Eagle from Maine. A wildlife biologist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that, based on records she has seen, the bird may have been one of the ten oldest [Bald Eagles] ever recorded.
The bird was captured in 1989 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill that happened earlier in the year.
A band retrieved from the dead eagle confirmed that it was the second oldest on record in Alaska. The oldest found in the Unites States was a 32-year-old Bald Eagle from Maine. A wildlife biologist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that, based on records she has seen, the bird may have been one of the ten oldest [Bald Eagles]ever recorded. The bird was captured in 1989 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill that happened earlier in the year.
“That eagle survived one of Mother Nature’s harshest climates for 25 years, only to find death on a man-made utility pole,” he added."
Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (High resolution versions available upon request) More at: http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/110224.html
Jay and I went into the next town to return the 4' x 8' ceiling material we had bought the other day. It was plastic, and too floppity. We were going to get the stiffer plastic kind, which costs twice as much, but then decided to use really nice smooth thin plywood on the ceiling. It can be stained, poly-ed or painted. There is nothing plastic in the finish part of the cargo trailer, so why start now.
We picked up some bargains at thrift shops. Jay bought some shirts, and a hand made schooner.
I bought a nice gypsy style burgundy, white and navy top, some navy Reebock shorts, and a china swan for my collection above one of the patio doors in my living room This is the door on the front which leads to my screen porch, that is where the cats laze around in nice weather. The screen porch has no door to the outside, so they are safe in there. On the right side of the living room there is another patio door which leads to the hall, and my front door is there. One has to go through 2 doors to get to the outdoors anywhere in my house, like a submarine you close one before you open the other, so animals can't get out!
A quick stop at Krogers, for a few groceries, and Petsmart to buy some really good canned kitten food for my three orphan kittens. Their little tiny teeth are starting to come through, so maybe they can begin to eat a little canned kitten food soon. But I know the little scrawny one will be on a bottle for a while. She is so sweet, she purrs when I pick her up. I never realized that their 'purring motors' were developed at such a young age.
I put some Gerber Rice in their bottle this morning to hold them over until I got back today.